Health Benefits of Kombucha Tea & Magnesium
Health Benifits of Kombucha Tea
Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been consumed for thousands of years.
Not only does it have the same health benefits as tea, but it’s also rich in beneficial probiotics.
Kombucha also contains antioxidants, can kill harmful bacteria and may help fight several diseases.
Here are the top 8 health benefits of kombucha, based on scientific evidence.
1. Kombucha is a Rich Source of Probiotics
Kombucha is thought to originate in China or Japan.
It’s made by adding specific strains of bacteria, yeast and sugar to black or green tea, and then allowing it to ferment for a week or more.
During this process, the bacteria and yeast form a mushroom-like blob on the surface, which is why kombucha is also known as “mushroom tea.”
This blob is actually a living symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, or a SCOBY, and can be used to ferment new kombucha.
This is what kombucha looks like:
The fermentation process produces vinegar and several other acidic compounds, trace levels of alcohol and gases that make it carbonated.
A large amount of probiotic bacteria is also produced during fermentation.
For this reason, adding probiotics foods like kombucha to your diet can improve your health in many ways.
Bottom Line: Kombucha is a type of tea that has been fermented. This makes it a good source of probiotics, which have many health benefits.
2. Kombucha Contains the Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.
This is because green tea contains many bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols, which function as powerful antioxidants in the body.
Kombucha made from green tea has many of the same chemical properties and therefore many of the same benefits.
Studies also show that green tea drinkers have a reduced risks of prostate, breast and colon cancers
Bottom Line: Kombucha made from green tea has many of the same health benefits, and may help with weight loss, blood sugar control and more.
3. Kombucha Contains Antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances that fight free radicals, reactive molecules that can damage your cells.
Antioxidants from foods and beverages are much better for your health than antioxidant supplements.
Kombucha, especially when made with green tea, appears to have powerful antioxidant effects on the liver.
Rat studies consistently find that drinking kombucha regularly reduces liver toxicity caused by toxic chemicals, in some cases by at least 70% .
Unfortunately, there are no human studies on this topic, but it does seem like a promising area of research for people with liver disease.
Bottom Line: Kombucha is rich in antioxidants and has been shown to protect the liver from toxicity, at least in rats.
4. Kombucha Can Kill Bacteria
Like the polyphenols in tea, acetic acid is able to kill many potentially harmful microorganisms.
Kombucha made from black or green tea appears to have strong antibacterial properties, particularly against infection-causing bacteria and Candida yeasts.
One study of chickens found that kombucha had antimicrobial effects and similar growth-promoting effects as antibiotics.
The researchers even suggested that kombucha tea could be used as an alternative to the antibiotic growth-promoters typically fed to these chickens.
Bottom Line: Kombucha is rich in tea polyphenols and acetic acid, which have both been shown to kill harmful bacteria.
5. Kombucha May Reduce Heart Disease Risk
Heart disease is the world’s leading cause of death.
Rat studies find that kombucha can greatly improve two markers of these diseases, LDL and HDL cholesterol, in as little as 30 days.
Even more importantly, tea (especially green tea) protects LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, which is thought to contribute to heart disease.
In fact, green tea drinkers have up to a 31% lower risk of developing heart disease, a benefit that should also be seen from drinking kombucha.
Bottom Line: Kombucha has been shown to improve LDL and HDL cholesterol levels in rats. It may also protect against heart disease.
6. Kombucha May Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes affects over 300 million people worldwide. It is characterized by high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.
A study in diabetic rats found that kombucha slowed down the digestion of carbs, which reduced blood sugar levels. It also improved liver and kidney function.
Kombucha made from green tea is likely to be even more beneficial, as green tea itself has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels.
In fact, a review study of almost 300,000 individuals found that green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic.
Bottom Line: Kombucha improved several markers of diabetes in rats, including blood sugar levels.
7. Kombucha May Help Protect Against Cancer
Cancer is one of the world’s leading causes of death. It is characterized by cell mutation and uncontrolled growth.
In test-tube studies, kombucha helped prevent the growth and spread of cancerous cells, due to its high concentration of tea polyphenols and antioxidants.
How the anti-cancer properties of tea polyphenols work is not well-understood.
However, it’s thought that the polyphenols block gene mutation and the growth of cancer cells, while also promoting cancer cell death.
For this reason, it is not surprising to see that tea drinkers are much less likely to develop various types of cancer.
Bottom Line: Test-tube studies have found that kombucha has significant anti-cancer properties, much like green tea.
8. Kombucha Is Healthy When Made Properly
Kombucha is a probiotic-rich tea with many health benefits.
You can purchase it in the store or make it yourself at home. However, be very careful to prepare it properly.
The safer option is to buy kombucha at a store or online. Commercial products are good and considered alcohol-free, as they must contain less than 0.5% alcohol.
If you’re interested in trying kombucha, then Amazon.com has a decent selection available.
However, check the ingredients and try to avoid brands that are high in added sugar.
Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Magnesium
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body.
It plays several important roles in the health of your body and brain.
However, you may not be getting enough of it, even if you eat a healthy diet.
Here are 10 health benefits of magnesium that are supported by modern scientific research.
1. Magnesium is Involved in Hundreds of Biochemical Reactions in Your Body
Magnesium is a mineral found in the earth, sea, plants, animals and humans.
About 60% of the magnesium in your body is found in bone, while the rest is in muscles, soft tissues and fluids, including blood (1).
In fact, every cell in your body contains it, and needs it to function.
It is actually involved in more than 600 reactions in your body, including (2):
- Energy creation: Helps convert food into energy.
- Protein formation: Helps create new proteins from amino acids.
- Gene maintenance: Helps create and repair DNA and RNA.
- Muscle movements: Is part of the contraction and relaxation of muscles.
- Nervous system regulation: Helps regulate neurotransmitters, which send messages throughout your brain and nervous system.
Bottom Line: Magnesium is a mineral that supports hundreds of reactions in your body. However, many people get less than they need.
2. Magnesium May Boost Exercise Performance
Magnesium also plays a role in exercise performance.
During exercise, you may actually need 10–20% more magnesium than when you’re resting, depending on the activity (4).
In one study, volleyball players who took 250 mg per day experienced improvements in jumping and arm movements (9).
In another study, athletes who supplemented with magnesium for 4 weeks had faster running, cycling and swimming times during a triathlon. They also experienced reductions in insulin and stress hormone levels (10).
Bottom Line: Magnesium supplements have been shown to enhance exercise performance in several studies.
3. Magnesium Fights Depression
One analysis of over 8,800 people found that those under 65 years of age with the lowest intake had a 22% greater risk of depression (14).
However, others experts emphasize the need for more research in this area (16).
In a randomized controlled trial of depressed older adults, 450 mg of magnesium improved mood as effectively as an anti-depressant drug (17).
Bottom Line: People with depression may be deficient in magnesium. Supplementing with it can reduce symptoms of depression in some people.
4. Magnesium is Effective Against Type 2 Diabetes
One study followed more than 4,000 people for 20 years. It found that those with the highest intake were 47% less likely to become diabetic (21).
However, this may depend on how much you are getting from food. In a different study, supplements did not improve blood sugar or insulin levels in people who weren’t deficient in magnesium (23).
Bottom Line: People who get the most magnesium have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and supplements have been shown to lower blood sugar in some people.
5. Magnesium Can Lower Blood Pressure
In one study, people who took 450 mg per day experienced a significant decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure (27).
However, these benefits may only occur in people who have high blood pressure.
Another study found that magnesium lowered blood pressure for people with high blood pressure, but had no effect on those with normal levels (28).
Bottom Line: Magnesium helps lower blood pressure when it is elevated, but does not seem to lower blood pressure for those with normal levels.
6. Magnesium Has Anti-Inflammatory Effects
In one study, children with the lowest blood magnesium levels were found to have the highest levels of the inflammatory marker CRP.
They also had higher blood sugar, insulin and triglyceride levels (32).
Bottom Line: Magnesium has been shown to help fight inflammation. It reduces the inflammatory marker CRP and provides several other benefits.
7. Magnesium Can Help Prevent Migraines
Migraine headaches are painful and debilitating. Nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and noise often occur.
Some researchers believe that people who suffer from migraines are more likely than others to be magnesium deficient (36).
In one study, supplementing with one gram provided relief from a migraine more quickly and effectively than a common medication (39).
Additionally, magnesium-rich foods may help reduce migraine symptoms (40).
Bottom Line: People who suffer from migraines may have low magnesium levels, and some studies have shown that supplementing can provide relief from migraines.
8. Magnesium Reduces Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is one of the leading causes of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
It’s characterized by an impaired ability of muscle and liver cells to properly absorb sugar from the bloodstream.
Magnesium plays a crucial role in this process, and many people with metabolic syndrome are deficient (3).
In addition, the high levels of insulin that accompany insulin resistance lead to the loss of magnesium in the urine, further reducing your body’s levels (41).
One study found that supplementing reduced insulin resistance and blood sugar levels, even in people with normal blood levels (45).
Bottom Line: Magnesium supplements may improve insulin resistance in people with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
9. Magnesium Improves PMS Symptoms
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is one of the most common disorders among women of child-bearing age.
Its symptoms include water retention, abdominal cramps, tiredness and irritability.
Bottom Line: Magnesium supplements have been shown to improve symptoms that occur in women with premenstrual syndrome.
10. Magnesium is Safe and Widely Available
Magnesium is absolutely essential for good health. The recommended daily intake is 400–420 mg per day for men, and 310–320 mg per day for women.
You can get it from both food and supplements.
The following foods are good to excellent sources of magnesium:
- Pumpkin seeds: 46% of the RDI in a quarter cup (16 grams).
- Spinach, boiled: 39% of the RDI in a cup (180 grams).
- Swiss chard, boiled: 38% of the RDI in a cup (175 grams).
- Dark chocolate (70–85% cocoa): 33% of the RDI in 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
- Black beans: 30% of the RDI in a cup (172 grams).
- Quinoa, cooked: 33% of RDI the in a cup (185 grams).
- Halibut: 27% of the RDI in 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
- Almonds: 25% of the RDI in a quarter cup (24 grams).
- Cashews: 25% of the RDI in a quarter cup (30 grams).
- Mackerel: 19% of the RDI in 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
- Avocado: 15% of the RDI in one medium avocado (200 grams).
- Salmon: 9% of the RDI in 3.5 ounces (100 grams).
If you have a medical condition, then check with your doctor before taking a supplement.
Although these supplements are generally well-tolerated, they may not be safe for people who take certain diuretics, heart medications or antibiotics.
Magnesium supplements that are absorbed well include:
- Magnesium citrate.
- Magnesium glycinate.
- Magnesium orotate.
- Magnesium carbonate.
The recommended daily amount is 300–400 mg, taken with food. However, for some people this amount may cause loose stools.
You can take 150–200 mg twice a day instead, or try the glycinate form, which is less likely to cause issues.
If you want to try a magnesium supplement, then there is a huge selection of high-quality supplements available on Amazon.
Bottom Line: Getting enough magnesium is important. Many foods contain it, and there are also many high-quality supplements available.
12. Anything Else?
Getting enough magnesium is essential for maintaining good health.
Be sure to eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods, or take a supplement if you’re unable to get enough from your diet alone.
Without enough of this important mineral, your body simply can’t function optimally.